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Related: monk - nunsploitation - religion


In general, a nun is a female ascetic who chooses to voluntarily leave mainstream society and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent. The term "nun" is applicable to Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Buddhists, for example. The male equivalent of a nun is a monk. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun [Sept 2005]

The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1669) - Vicomte De Guilleragues, Gabriel De Lavergne

The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1669) - Vicomte De Guilleragues, Gabriel De Lavergne [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The "Portuguese Letters" were published anonymously in 1669, alleged translations into French of letters written by a Portuguese nun to a French officer who had loved and left her. Recent scholarship suggests Guilleragues was their author. Reminiscent of the exchanges between Heloise and Abelard of an earlier time, the letters display a remarkable acuity of psychological insight into the mind of a woman in love and on the edge of hysteria. --via Amazon.com

The Letters of a Portuguese Nun were written by the 17th century Franciscan nun, Marianna Alcoforado, to Noel Bouton, later Marquis de Chamilly. The letters to her lover which have earned her renown in literature were written between December 1667 and June 1668, and they described the successive stages of faith, doubt and despair through which she passed. The letters could also be considered pieces of unconscious psychological self-analysis. The five short letters written by Marianna to "expostulate her desertion" form one of the few documents of extreme human experience, and reveal a passion which in the course of two centuries has lost nothing of its heat. Perhaps their dominant note is reality, and, sad reading as they are from the moral standpoint, their absolute candour, exquisite tenderness and entire self-abandonment have excited the wonder and admiration of great men and women in every age, from Madame de Sévigné to Gladstone. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_of_a_Portuguese_Nun [Sept 2005]

See also: epistolary novel - love - nunsploitation - 1600s - novel

Devils of Loudun (1952) - Aldous Huxley

  • Devils of Loudun (1952) - Aldous Huxley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The 1952 book titled The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley tells the story of the trial of Urbain Grandier, priest of the town who was tortured and burned at the stake in 1634. He was accused of being in league with the devil and having seduced an entire convent of nuns, in what is seen by many scholars as one of the most sensational cases of mass possession and sexual hysteria in recorded history.

    Based on Huxley's book, in 1969, Krzysztof Penderecki created an opera of the same name. The following year, Ken Russell directed the film The Devils, also based on Huxley's book. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudun [Sept 2005]

    The Devils (1971) - Ken Russell

    The Devils (1971) - Ken Russell [Amazon.com]

    The Devils is a film directed by Ken Russell and starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave. It is based on The Devils of Loudun, a documentary novel by Aldous Huxley, but despite claims here and there, including IMDb, the film was never released under the title The Devils of Loudun. At the time of its release, and later, the film has been regarded as controversial for its use of religious imagery and its strong and relatively explicit sexual themes.

    The film's combination of religious themes and imagery combined with explicit sexual content was a test for the British Board of Film Classification that at the time was under pressure from socially conservative lobbying groups. In order to get an 'X' certificate Russell made sacrificial cuts of some of the nudity. The film was kept from home video distribution and television screening until the 1990s. A two-and-a-half-minute sequence depicting crazed naked nuns sexually assaulting a statue of Christ was removed at the studio's insistence before the film was submitted to the BBFC censors, who removed a further 89 seconds. All of this material was presumed lost or destroyed until critic Mark Kermode found the complete "Rape of Christ" sequence and several other deleted scenes in 2002. Although some material may have been lost forever, the NFT was able to show The Devils in the fullest possible state in 2004. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devils_%28film%29 [Sept 2005]

    Venus in the Cloister (1683) - Abbé du Prat

    This edition:
    Paris, Bibliothèque des curieux ; (Argenteuil, impr. de Coulouma)1934.220 p. ;9,5x15,5 cm.
    Le Coffret du bibliophile illustré. 1ª serie (F.lli Briffaut
    Image sourced here.

    Venus in the Cloister (1683) - Abbé du Prat [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Quatrième de couverture
    Sous la forme de cinq entretiens entre soeur Agnès et soeur Angélique, prétendument racontés à la mère abbesse du couvent par l'abbé du Prat pour tenter de " rendre à la voix et aux actions le beau feu dont elles ont été animées ", Vénus dans le cloître - paru dès 1672 - inaugure le roman érotique d'éducation sexuelle à l'adresse des jeunes filles, dont Thérèse philosophe (Babel ne 37) et le Rideau levé ou l'Education de Laure (Babel ne 121) seront les fleurons. Ici, l'évocation des plaisirs emprunte à la religion son vocabulaire et à la rhétorique ses subtilités pour subvertir plus sûrement et de l'intérieur la morale close de l'Eglise. Et, par le jeu du paradoxe, donner à ce roman précurseur une grande liberté de ton. --via Amazon.fr

    "Roman érotique d'éducation sexuelle à l'usage des jeunes filles". L'expression d'un libertinage contraint de composer avec des autorités répressives (les dialogues de soeur Angélique et de soeur Agnès sont plutôt discrets "quant à la mise en scène de la sexualité"). Une oeuvre épicurienne qui prêche pour l'acceptation (publique) et le contournement (privé) de l'ordre social. -- Services Documentaires Multimédia --via Amazon.fr

    Edmund Curll
    Edmund Curll (1675 - December 11, 1747) was an English bookseller and publisher.

    He was born in the West Country, of a poor family. After being apprenticed to an Exeter bookseller he came to London and started up in business, advertising himself by a system of newspaper quarrels. His connection with the anonymously-published Court Poems in 1716 led to the long quarrel with Alexander Pope, who took his revenge by immortalizing Curll in the Dunciad. Curll became notorious for his indecent publications, so much so that "Curlicism" was regarded as a synonym for literary indecency. In 1716 and again in 1721 he had to appear at the bar of the House of Lords for publishing matter concerning its members. In 1725 he was convicted of publishing obscene books, and fined in 1728 for publishing The Nun in her Smock and De Usu Flagrorum, while his Memories of John Ker of Kersland cost him an hour in the pillory. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Curll [Sept 2005]

    1725 – Edmund Curll (1683-1747) is arrested in England for publishing Venus in the Cloister [An English translation of Vénus dans le Cloître, 1683] and Meibomius's Treatise of Flogging (translation by George Sewell). He's released but he's arrested again in 1726 after further investigation by the police and for publishing The Prisoner's Advocate, a government spy's (John Ker) memoirs of his experiences in the King's Bench Prison. Curll is finally sentenced in February 1728. He's fined 25 marks for each of the two erotic books and 20 marks plus one hour in the pillory for publishing Ker's memoirs. It is Curll's trial that leads the Court of King's Bench to define the law of obscene libel. --http://www.eroticabibliophile.com/censorship_history.html [Sept 2005]

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